ISyE Department Seminar- Karen Smilowitz

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Integrating dual scheduling modes in workforce management


Motivated by the emergence of self-scheduling platforms for volunteers and the continued need to meet time-specific needs of nonprofit organizations, this research explores modeling approaches and scheduling policies to effectively manage workforce scheduling for organizations with dual scheduling modes.  As an illustrative example, we consider a nonprofit organization that provides relief to those impacted by disasters using both volunteers who schedule themselves and staff members who are assigned to shifts.  We explore the advantages of scheduling policies that explicitly account for the two groups, balancing the need to cover time slots to meet demand with the desire to offer meaningful and convenient opportunities to volunteers such that they maintain their engagement with the organization.  We present a case study based on operational data from our collaborators and more general insights based on synthesized data.  This is joint work with Mariana Escallon-Barrios and Reut Noham.


Dr. Karen Smilowitz is the James N. and Margie M. Krebs Professor in Industrial Engineering and Management Science at Northwestern University, with a joint appointment in the Operations group at the Kellogg School of Business.  Dr. Smilowitz is an expert in modeling and solution approaches for logistics and transportation systems in both commercial and nonprofit applications.  Dr.  Smilowitz is the founder of the Northwestern Initiative on Humanitarian and Nonprofit Logistics.  She has been instrumental in promoting the use of operations research within the humanitarian and nonprofit sectors through the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Academy of Engineering, as well as various media outlets.  Dr. Smilowitz is the Editor-in-Chief of Transportation Science.  


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:sbryantturner3
  • Created:08/30/2021
  • Modified By:Julie Smith
  • Modified:11/08/2021


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